As we had left the Blue Mountains earlier and found shelter at Lee and Paul’s place, we could make use of the excellent WiFi to write a blog post and to do some research about potential travel destinations. So far our itinerary was planned until end of June when we leave Cooks Islands and arrive back in Australia in Cairns.
Our plan is to rent a campervan in Cairns and then travel to Brisbane. But an open question was, where to go from there and – in relation to that – how many days we want to spent for the road trip vom Cairns to Brisbane.
There are many many options to choose from, given the proximity of many islands to Australia, such as Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia. Then there is of course the never-ending wish list that includes destinations such as Hawaii, Bora Bora, or Tahiti which could be a nice stop on our way back home to Germany.
Marcel spent hours and hours researching potential destinations, flight plans and prices, possible accommodations and tried to figure out how best to combine them. Some destinations got crossed out quickly because it was just too expensive. Others were difficult to reach or to combine… Marcel also thought about combining several islands, for example, on Hawaii, to not just stay on the island Oʻahu where we arrive, but also visit Kauaʻi, where all five Jurassic Parc films were made. Finding optimal flights and accommodations when hopping between islands gets a bit more difficult – and also expensive! So, no Hawaii for us! Another issue is our backpacks… It takes quite some time and nerves to squeeze everything back into them (Thanks a million Marcel for doing this!). So we wouldn’t want to do this every other day just because you hop on to the next island.
Leanna to the Rescue!
Marcel had already spent a full afternoon on doing research and felt not even close to making a decision. The day before we left Sydney, we walked Leanna to her office in the morning and talked about it. Given her personal experience with cruises, she asked whether that would be an option. Marcel had looked at this briefly, but due to the costs it was out of the question. With Leanna’s help we found a cruise that was perfect though: The Indonesian Explorer
It departs from Brisbane (where we are anyway) and returns in Singapore, which is the perfect hub to continue our travels or even go home. This is a one-way cruise which for us is perfect, but probably not for most Australians who might prefer to have a return trip. Back at the apartment, we looked for other options, but the Indonesian Explorer was the best offer we could find. So… we booked it!
14 Days on the Pacific Dawn from Brisbane to Singapore
This is what the itinerary of our cruise ship “Pacific Dawn” looks like:
Jul 30: Departing from Brisbane
Jul 31: At Sea
Aug 01: At Sea
Aug 02: Port Douglas (Australia)
Aug 03: At Sea
Aug 04: At Sea
Aug 05: Darwin (Australia)
Aug 06: At Sea
Aug 07: Dili (Timor-Leste)
Aug 08: At sea
Aug 09: Komodo (Indonesia)
Aug 10: Bali
Aug 11: At Sea
Aug 12: At Sea
Aug 13: Singapore
This route is fantastic, especially because Darwin was highly recommended to us but was not on our campervan route. We’ve been to Bali before for our honeymoon, but there are of course still some places we haven’t seen. Considering Marcel’s idea to do island hopping, I loved the idea to do it on a cruise ship, because we don’t have to pack or move in and out of places all the time. And the best thing: transport, accommodation and food is included, so we don’t need to do grocery shopping or cooking either. Love it!